As a local mom and podiatrist my inbox has recently become filled with "Back to School" sales, styles and steals. What really is the best option for our childrens' needs? What option not only fits their foot but is trendy? What size should my child be wearing? What is the most cost effective option for cleats and other sport specific shoe gear?
These questions are not always easy to answer.
The high price tag does not always equate to value or support.
Never assume that you know your child's shoe size or that all shoe sizes are created equal. Ask a sales associate to measure in the store. Also have your child stand while wearing the shoe and look at where their big toe is in relation to the front of the shoe - think thumb nail length from the tip.
Check with your child's school about any specific requirements - unfortunately sometimes a "maryjane" is all you have to work with.
If a shoe style offers "antimicrobial lining" take it - will help fight fungus and bacterial. I also recommend weekly treatment with a shoe spray like Clean Sweep to help fight the funk and odor.
A hyperflexible shoe - one that folds like an accordion - is not offering your child any support - may be ok for limited periods of time but I don't recommend for a full school day, gym or sport.
Running sneakers are lightweight, flexible and geared toward running look for a cross trainer as an "everyday school sneaker."
A sneaker alone may not offer your child the support they need during their activities as well as growing - sometimes a prefabricated or custom orthotic (insert for your shoe) will make any shoe the best for your child.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child's arch height, tripping, pain while running, or tiredness in their legs after a school day do not hesitate to come in for an evaluation in one of our office locations. We will happily care for your family's feet and answer any shoe gear questions you or your children may have.
Stay Cool! Wear Sunscreen (even on your feet!) And enjoy the rest of your Summer!
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Dr. Alison Croughan